'/> Amazing Animals: November 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

10 Fascinating Animals Whose Names Begin with The Letter S

Sifaka, Spring Peeper, and Stoat – what do these animals have in common? They are some of the fascinating animals whose names begin with the letter S. Read on to know more about the other seven animals that made the list.

They may not be the popular ‘S’ animals that we know, but these fascinating creatures deserved to be included on the list of animals whose names begin with the letter S. read on to learn more about them.


photo link

A Sculpin is a fish that belongs to the large family Cottidae that contains about 756 species. Most of the species live in salt water and widespread along shoreline and deep water. It is a small fish with spiny head and short, narrow body. Sculpin comes in light brown to yellow brown in color. The upper body is marked with patches and the with darker mottling and the belly is yellow-white to pure white. Sculpin is characterized by its huge pectoral fins resembling butterfly wings. It averages about 16 inches long and weighs over three pounds. It feeds on shrimps and crabs.


photo link

The Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, is a small to medium herding dog. The breed measures between 200–250 mm in height and weighs around 5–14 kilograms. They are double coated (two layers of fur that make up their coat) and colors vary from sable/white, Blue Merle and tri-color (black, white, and tan). They are intelligent, vocal, playful, agile, sturdy and energetic dogs. It is fairly active indoors and can live in an apartment. They require lots of exercise and a regular jog. They have a life expectancy of about 12-15 years. The Sheltie is prone to eye disease and hip dyspepsia.


photo link

Sifakas are medium-sized lemurs found only on the island of Madagascar. There are three extant species: the Coquerel’s sifaka, the diademed sifaka, and the golden-crowned sifaka. They spend most of their time in the trees. Typically sifakas’ limbs and bodies come in varieties of colors – their heads show patches of white, gray, black, or golden-colored fur. They have round, hairless head and have long tails. Adults average between 40 to 55 centimeters in body length and weigh around 3 to 6 kilograms. These primates are herbivores and feed mainly on eating leaves, flowers and fruits. Due to habitat loss, all species of sifakas are threatened, ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered.


photo link

Skunks are famous legendary for their horrible-smelling spray used as defense against predators. Skunks (with 12 known species) belong to the family Mephitidae are found mostly in the western hemisphere, with two species inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines. Typically, these mammals are black and white; and depending on the species, they vary in size from about 40 to 94 cm in length and from about 0.50 kg to 8.2 kg in weight. All skunks are striped; have a long snout, short legs and a bushy tail. Skunks omnivores and feed on birds, earthworms, eggs, frogs, fish, insects, reptiles, rodents and small mammals. They also eat berries, fungi, grasses, leaves, nuts and roots.


photo link

The Skylark (Alauda arvensis)is a small passerine songbird found in Europe (except in the Mediterranean area). It is grayish-brown in color and measures between 16 to 18 centimeters long. The upper body shows a brown streaked and a pure white belly. Known for the melodious song of the courting males, skylark has short, solid crest on the head, short broad wings, short tail and sturdy legs. A bird of open farmland, this passerine bird makes a grass nest on the ground where three to six eggs are laid in June. It feeds on insects and seeds.


photo link

Spoonbill is the common name for six species of large, long-legged wading bird found over much of the world. All species have long, large, flat bill with a tip like a flattened spoon. The bill is used to capture small aquatic animals by wading through shallow water. Prey includes small fish, crustaceans or insects. They prefer lagoons, marshes, and mudflats. Adults measure between 76 to 86 cm tall. They have long necks, and thin legs. Most species are white with patches of other colors.

Spring Peeper

photo link

The Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) are small, well-camouflaged frogs found throughout the eastern part of Canada and the United States. These amphibians known for their high-pitched peeping sounds inhabit forests and wooded areas near ponds, streams and swamps. With the distinctive dark lines that form an X on their backs, these tree frogs are tan or brown in color. Adults grow to about 25 mm to 38 mm in body length and weigh between 3.1 g to 5.1 g. Spring Peepers are nocturnal carnivores; diet includes ants, beetles, flies, spiders and worms.


photo link

The Stoat (Mustela erminea),or Short-tailed Weasel, is a small sized mammal widespread across Europe, Asia and North America. Its habitats include farms, woodlands, farms and coastal areas. This territorial animal has long, thin body with thick brown fur that turns white during winter. It has a slim body, small ears and short legs. It can grow to about 30 centimeters in height and weighs around 200 grams. An opportunistic predator with a good sense of smell, it hunts other small animals, including chicken, birds, mice, rabbits, voles, and also eat bird eggs. It can live up to seven years.

Sugar Glider

photo link

The Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small furry possum native to Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. This arboreal (tree-dwelling) and nocturnal marsupial prefers forests and rainforests with eucalyptus trees. Known for its amazing gliding acts, adult male sugar glider measures about 24 to 30 cm long from the nose to the tip of the tail and weighs about 115-160 g.

Typically, it sports a soft, blue-grey fur coat mark with a black stripe running from its nose to midway of its back. It has a squirrel-like body with its belly, chest, and throat coming in cream color. It has a characteristic membrane that stretches from the fifth finger to the first toe. Sugar gliders feed on the sweet sap of certain trees and also prey on insects and small vertebrates.

Surf Scoter

photo link

The Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)is a large black-and-white sea duck widespread on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts in winter. Males are typically black in color mark with white patch on the forehead and white triangular patch on the nape. Females carry a much paler color mark with light patches on side of head. Males have pale blue-gray eyes while females have pale brown or yellow eyes. Males have reddish orange feet, while females have yellow to brownish-red feet. Adult males average 48 cm long and weigh 1050 grams. Males are larger than females. The surf Scoter diet includes aquatic insects, crustaceans, mollusks and small fish; as well as muskgrass, pondweeds, and wild celery.

Check out the entire Animal Alphabet list here:
Amazing Animal Alphabet Series 1
Amazing Animal Alphabet Series 2

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Animals with Astonishing Powers - Part One

Meet Nature’s Super Animals: From the Pufferfish pack with deadly poison, to the Leafcutter ants with amazing strength, to the hummingbirds that flaps its wings with lightning speed; the natural world is full of animals with astonishing skills and amazing powers.

Tarsier- Precise Night Vision

photo link

Possessing enormous eyes that are larger than its brain case and also its stomach, the Philippine Tarsier truly deserves to be called a “Super Animal”. An excellent night hunter, it makes use of its eyes to hunt for prey such as insects, worms, lizards and other small animals. Though, its eyes are fixed in the skull, the neck is flexible and can rotate almost 360°.

Also, it has acute hearing due to its oversized ears. Endemic to the Philippines, this miniscule primate measures about 85-160 mm in height and weighs 113-142 grams. It has rough gray fur, narrow tail about 13 to 28 cm long, padded finger and toes, sharp teeth and elongated ankle bone. The Philippine tarsier is arboreal and solitary animal, spending its entire life in trees.

Pufferfish – Inflatable Body, Deadly poison

photo link

Don’t be deceived by its charming face. The pufferfish, mostly found in tropical waters, comprises about 120 species. Small to medium in size, and sporting bright colors, pufferfish are known to be slow swimmers or movers. But what it lacks in speed and agility, is compensated by its unique and potent natural defenses.

In addition to its pointed spines, puffers have the ability to inflate its elastic stomach with water to intimidate or escape from potential predators. Though a popular delicacy in Japan, most species of pipefish are highly poisonous. Its skin contains tetrodoxin, a potent and paralyzing poison, which is said to be up to 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide!

Chameleon – Invinsibility

photo link

If there is an award for the “Best in Costume” in the animal world, then, the chameleon is a crowd favorite. This highly specialized lizard can easily blend its appearance to its surroundings. It can easily change its color from green, yellow, orange, brown, black, blue, gold and even pink. That is what we call perfect adaptability! In so doing, chameleon seems to be invisible to its potential prey and predator.

Most of chameleons are found in sub-Saharan Africa, although some species are found in the Middle East, Europe and parts of Southeast Asia. They inhabit savannahs, rain forests and even deserts They vary in size from as small as 3.3 cm to 68.5 cm. Chameleons are expert climbers and have excellent visions, aiding them to see clearly their target. One remarkable trait chameleons have been their long, sticky tongue used in catching prey.

Sea Dragon – Natural Disguise

photo link

To potential predators, this question always arises, Is it flora or fauna? One of the animal kingdom’s most flamboyantly camouflaged creatures; sea dragons with their leaf-shaped appendages eludes predators by floating alongside leafy weeds on the ocean floor. Sea dragons are found in waters off south and east Australia feeding mostly on amphipods and larval fishes. Most sea dragons sport yellow to brown body color. On average sea dragons are about 35 – 46 cm long, thin snouts and thin tails. Like their seahorse cousins, the males carry and incubates the eggs until they hatch.

Flying Squirrel – Long Distance Glider

photo link

Sky’s the limit! Flying, yes, this is what flying squirrels really love. Though these arboreal rodents don’t really fly – they do their tree-to-tree hoping activities by gliding. These glides from tree to tree. Their amazing gliding flight has been recorded to have reached 90 meters. How do they do it? A parachute-like membrane keeps the gliding motion; the midair direction and speed are controlled by its arms and legs; and the fluffy tail serves as a stabilizer while in flight and act as landing brakes.

Flying squirrels have thick fur. Big brown eyes and a flat tail. They sport light brown upper body color and white color underneath. These nocturnal rodents feeding on seeds, flowers, tree shrubs, insects, spiders, small birds, snails and slugs.

Archerfish – Reliable Markman

photo link

We can call them, the “robin hood” of the seas. This zebra-like fish is an excellent marksman, preying on land-based insects. Archerfish has a unique way of catching its prey – shooting down its target with water droplets up to two meters away. Archerfish creates a powerful stream of water out of its mouth using its tongue and strong gills.

Also, its keen eyesight enables Archerfish to properly target its prey. If unsuccessful in several tries, it jumps out of the water to catch its prey. Archerfish is found in brackish waters of Australia and Southeast Asia. Typically, Archerfish is about 10-25 cm long, weigh around 750 g with laterally compressed bodies.

Sea Cucumber – Body Liquification

photo link

Sea cucumbers are cylinder-shaped echinoderms inhabiting the world’s ocean floors. These marine vertebrates grow to about 10-30 cm long with an elongated body with a leathery skin. Sea cucumbers have flexible bodies which they can tighten or loosen if the need arises, thus allowing them to pass to small cracks and squeeze into narrow passages.

These they do to search for foods like tiny marine animals, algae or even ocean garbage. Also, when this echinoderm senses danger or threaten, it melts – literally!. When the sea cucumber senses danger, it melts – literally. When threatened, they emit a sticky substance to trap predators or break down their bodies into pieces which can regenerate later on.

Bats – Ultrasonic Echolocation Power

photo link

Besides being the only flying mammal – bats have the distinct ability to navigate through dark caves or pitch black surroundings using ultrasonic echolocation power. By emitting sound to create an echo, then measuring the reflected sound – bats are able to calculate the precise location of potential prey. There are over a thousand known bats found in the world except the polar ice caps of Antarctic and Arctic regions.

These eco-friendly mammals are divided into two types - microbats which feed primarily on insects and megabats or the fruit bats.. Bats have fur-covered bodies and webbed-forelimbs that acts as wings. Bats range in size – from the smallest Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat that measures about 29–34 mm to the largest Giant Golden-crowned Flying-fox that grows to about 336–343 mm.

Leafcutter Ant – Herculean Strength

photo link

These tiny creatures are the Mighty Hercules of the animal world. Unbelievable strength of small ants about 0.1 to 0.5 inch long to carry up to 20 times their own weight! In addition, these fungus-growing ants have powerful jaws that could tear and chew the leaves with relative ease. With 47 known extant species, Leafcutter ants are found in the tropical forests of South and Central America. Leafcutter ants, color vary from red to brown to orange to brown.

Electric Eel -High Voltage Electric Shocks

photo link

Electric eels are not true ells but are electric fish. They inhabit swamps, creeks, and rivers of South America. They have an elongated body without scales and average 2 m long and weigh 20 kg. Electric eels feed on invertebrates, paralyzing their prey using electric shocks. Also, these lethal electric shocks are used for defense against predators. So powerful are these electric shocks that it generates up to 500 volts – so that is lethal enough to kill an adult human.

Hummingbird – Backward-flying and Helicopter hover flight

photo link

So small and yet so fast – a good description of these 7.5–13 cm long hummingbirds. These nectar-sipping birds have the distinction of the being the only bird who can fly backwards. Not only that, hummingbirds can hover in midair flapping their wings so fast – up 90 times per second! Too many astonishing feats for a very small bird. How they cope up with their activities? Hummingbirds must consume nectar every 10 minutes.

Check out Part 2 here:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cats Behaving Wildly

You may at times find cats cute, gentle or amazing. But what about, if you see them behaving wildly? Will you still want to own one? See the pictures below and decide for yourself.

photo link

Wake up, Sleepy.. you’ve got to see today’s Battle Royale…

photo link

C’mon Siamese twin… Will both of you just shut up. I’m having my catnap.

photo link

Five bucks.. Jacky Cat will not last the distance!Wanna bet, Whitie?

Make it 10 bucks and you got a deal. Bruce Cat will come out the winner.

photo link

Jacky Cat: This is what I call… Kung Fu’s Praying Mantis style.

Bruce Cat: And this is my signature Enter the Dragon pose!

photo link

Gee, this place is a war zone.. Another UFC fight is about to explode. It’s a good thing, my boss put me here.

photo link

Hey You, Felix… This is the end of the road for you…

photo link

Tell that to the Marines… I’m not intimidated by your look.. C’mon, gimme your best shot.

photo link

I am facing my ultimate challenge… Deal Ghost Cat his first ever lose!

photo link

GHOST.. This is a job for Spider Cat..

photo link

Get me down!! I don’t want to have a piece of this violent stuff. Help! help!.. Someone is molesting me..

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Teacup Pig–cute Miniature Pigs That Never Grow Up

Don’t ever mistook them for piglets – and even if they “grew up”, they will still remain “small” pigs. Meet the Teacup Pigs!… the cute miniature pigs that never grow up.

photo link

The Teacup Pig, also known as the Pennywell Miniature Pig, is a small breed of pig that was developed at Pennywell Farm in Devon, England. A newly born one, weigh about half a pound and can fit into a teacup. An adult Teacup pig grows to about 12 -16 in. tall and weighs approximately 64 lbs. As pet, Teacup pig is now gaining popularity among celebrities. When sold as pets, these pigs must come in pairs. Why? … because these pigs need companions to deal with harsh winter nights. Due to high demand and the limited supply, Teacup pig average selling price is $1,100 each.

photo link

In 2007, Chris Murray (the breeder), introduced the first Teacup pigs to the public. It is reported that Teacup pig originated from Kune Kune pigs, a New Zealand type of pig, and is the product of a laborious 9 year breeding program.

Teacup pigs are highly intelligent pig and are easily motivated by foods. However, they too can easily get bored if not given the proper stimulation. According to experts, teacup pigs are social animals; and if they are kept in pens, they become quite irritated and may spend a miserable adult life.

photo link

Teacup pigs make fantastic pets and some celebrities owned or adopted one. Victoria and David Beckham adopted a Teacup couple in $2,300, whom they call Elton and David. Other celebrities that owned or adopted Teacup pigs includes; Paris Hilton, who bought just a single pig and Rupert Grint, who in 2009, adopted a pair of this miniature pig.

Teacup Pig video

Monday, November 4, 2013

10 of The World’s Most Strange Dog Breeds

A list of 10 of the World’s Most Strange Dog Breeds. Read and learn more about them.

They maybe normal dogs from afar, but examining them closely will prove otherwise. Possessing either a typical behavioral trait or physical oddity — they are indeed strange breeds of dog.

The Barkless Dog

photo link

Barkless but not mute! Bizarre breed don’t you think so? Basenjis normally whine, but do not bark, instead it produces a very unusual yodel-like sound commonly called “barroo”. It also shared a unique trait with wolves and dingoes – females give birth to litters only once a year. Lastly, the breed requires less grooming – no doggie smell for it washes itself like a cat.

A Basenji is a small, mischievous-looking, stocky built, short coat dog with erect ears and curled tail. Eyes are almond-shaped with wrinkled brows. Coat color varies from red, black, all-white, tricolor (black with tan), and brindle (black stripes on a background of red.) Dogs measure 40.6 cm (16 inches) at the withers and 11 kg (24 pounds). The breed is intelligent, energetic, alert, curious, graceful and affectionate. It will do okay in an apartment if it gets enough exercise.

The Crested Dog

photo link

The perfect description for our next entry – An imposing crest adorning a hairless body. The Chinese Crested is another unusual dog breed with characteristic tufts of hair (mane) on the head, feet and tail. The Chinese crested comes in two distinct varieties, the “hairless” without fur, and the “powder puff” with fur, that can be born in the same litter. The “powder puff” has a long, soft coat.

This rare and bizarre breed is considered small measuring 30 cm (12 inches) in height and weighs about 4.5–5.9 kg (10–13 lb). Color ranges from solid, spotted or mixed. Chinese Crested has wedge-shaped head, almond-shaped eyes, long muzzles and large, erect ears.

This energetic dog is intelligent, loyal, charming, very affectionate, agile, and playful. Grooming focuses on two aspects: hairless type body should be moisturized regularly while powder-puffs coat should be brushed very regularly. Chinese Crested will do okay for apartment life.

The Puffy-lion Dog

photo link

Chow Chow, which means “puffy-lion dog”, is one of the most unusual dog breeds for its three characteristic features: the mane of a lion, the blue/black tongue of a bear and its stilted gait. A sturdy built dog of Chinese origin, the breed is characterized by its dense double coat (smooth or rough), huge ruff behind its large head, and almond-shaped eyes. It sports broad and deep muzzle, black nose, and small, triangular, erect ears.

The coat may be black, blue, fawn, gray, cream, gray, red, tan or a rare white. Dogs measure 46-56 cm (18-22 inches) tall at the withers and weigh 20-32 kg (45-70 pounds.) Chow Chow is intelligent, independent, well-mannered, and affectionate type of dog. It will do okay in an apartment provided it gets a daily walk. Healthy chow can live up to 15 years.

The Leopard Dog

photo link

Catahoula Leopard Dog is best described as an unusual dog breed with strange coat, intriguing blue eyes and has the ability to climb trees! Considered to be the first dog breed developed in North America, the breed’s distinct feature is its unique leopard-spot color pattern (black or brown) spread on any coat color. Coat color includes blue Merle, red Merle, brindle, and solid colors.

Adult males measure 56-58 cm (22 to 26 inches) in height and 16-37 kg (55-80 pounds) in weight. The breed is highly intelligent and energetic. It is an affectionate, protective, territorial type of dog. A single-coated dog, the breed requires minimal grooming. Life Span: About 12-13 years.

The Double-nosed Dog

photo link

A Turkish hunting dog breed famous for its very unusual split nosed or double nosed. One of only three dog breeds that own a split nose feature, the Catalburun has one of the superior scenting instincts. The breed is also known for its great hunting skills, agility and stamina. The “split nose” is separated down the center by a thin band of skin and fur. The nose color may come in brown, black or pink. Generally, the breed possesses a smooth, short, white coat with patches of black, brown, tan, or yellowish-red. Listed as one of the top 10 rare dog breeds, the Catalburun has a life span of 12-17 years.

The Singing Dog

photo link

The New Guinea Singing Dog (also known as the New Guinea Dingo), is a wild dog endemic to New Guinea. It is named for its unique vocalization – producing a melodious howl, characterized by a sharp pitch at the start and very high frequencies at the end. The breed measures 31–46 cm (13–16 in.) at the withers and weigh 9–14 kg (17–25 lbs.) It has a broad head with almond-shaped eyes, erect, pointed ears and short legs. The plush coat comes in brown, black and tan. This strange, dog breed is active, lively, and alert. Since it is related to wild dogs, the breed is not recommended for most families. Life Expectancy: About 15-20 years.

The Most Extreme Waterdog

photo link

The Newfoundland is a massive, muscular breed of dog well-known for its excellent rescue/lifesaving trait. With a stocky built, webbed feet, waterproof double coat, and natural swimming abilities – the Newfoundland is the ultimate water dog. On average, males measure 69-74 cm 22–28 (27–29 inches) tall at the shoulder and weigh 60–70 kg (130–150 lbs.) Color can be black, brown, gray, or white with black markings (Landseer.) The breed is intelligent, lovable, loyal, calm, and courageous. The Newfoundland will get along well in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. Life Expectancy: 9 – 15 years.

The Elastic Dog

photo link

How does the Norwegian Lundehund dog outwits its prey (puffin birds) up and down vertical cliffs? Simply by just what it is –an elastic dog! To help it climb and descend vertical cliffs, the breed has four remarkable features – First: six toes on each foot that aids it to hunt the birds in their inaccessible nesting locations. Second: an elastic neck joint that enables the head to tilt backward to touch the spine in return allowing its forehead to touch its back. Third: flexible shoulders capable of producing an odd rotary movement. Lastly: very mobile ears capable of closing and folding forward or backward to protect from debris.

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small dog measuring about 31-39 cm (12-15.5 inches) in height and 6-9 kg (13-20 pounds) in weight. It has a wedge-shaped head, almond-shaped eyes, black nose, and medium-sized erect ears. The short, double coat can come in brown, black, gray or fawn. The breed is alert, energetic, friendly, affectionate, and protective.

The Corded Coat Dog

photo link

A herding breed native to Hungary, the Puli is best known for its characteristic weather resistant, corded coat similar to dreadlocks. The outer coat is curly while the undercoat is dense, soft, and wooly. The coat serves as protection during harsh weather. Generally, pulik sport black-colored coat. Other coat color includes white, gray, or cream.

The breed is a compact, medium-sized dog measuring 41-46 cm (16 to 17½ inches) at the shoulder and weighs 11-16 kg (25-35 pounds.) Pulik are reasonably intelligent, obedient, loyal, highly active, and agile dogs. An all-weather dog, the breed will do okay both in an apartment or a farm. Life Expectancy: About 12 or more years.

The Wrinkle Dog

photo link

Our last entry on the list is a breed of dog originating from china – known for its distinctive loose wrinkled skin and a blue-black tongue. The Shar pei, or Chinese Shar-Pei, resembles no other dog. The breed is squarely built with a broad, flat head. Eyes are dark, almond-shaped; the muzzle is wide; teeth meet in a scissors bite; blue-black tongue; small, triangular ears; and curled tail.

The extremely harsh coat comes in two types: Horse coat (very short and prickly) and Brush coat (longer and softer than the horse coat.) Colors includes apricot, black, blue, chocolate, cream, fawn, and red. Dogs measure 46-51 cm (18-20 inches) tall, weigh 18-25 kg (40-55 pounds.) the Shar Pei is intelligent, courageous, loyal, affectionate, and a very playful dog. Life Expectancy: 10 -12 years.